Defense

September 11, 2012

Fighting birds with birds

Tags:
A1C Jose L. Leon
McConnell AFB, Kansas

In this image released by the National Geographic Society, a peregrine falcon is shown similar to one of the falcons that will be used in McConnell Air Force Base’s Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard program.

The 22nd Air Refueling Wing Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard program at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, is being overhauled with new contractors employing the use of a falcon to keep skies clear from avian adversaries.

The BASH program is in place to reduce bird strikes by introducing a natural predator into the area to ward off smaller animals.

McConnell will be changing the type of predator used from a dog to a pair of falcons.

Elaina, a Barbary falcon, and Jack, a Peregrine-Prairie hybrid, will be McConnell’s new solution, capable of providing smaller birds the motivation to move along.

“One strike, if the bird hits the wrong spot on a plane, could do $50 to $100 thousand worth of damage,” said Maj. Jeremy Fischman, 22nd ARW flight safety chief. “It is really easy for the program to pay for itself by preventing one bad bird strike.”

Preventing bird strikes also maintains safety by not putting Airmen in a situation where they have to maneuver aircraft damaged in flight.

There were 4,471 bird strikes Air Force-wide in 2011. These incidents cost $13,061,140.

While the fields and ponds surrounding McConnell are inviting habitats for birds, the falcons will be introduced as a predatory species. The birds instinctively know that it is too dangerous to seek food and shelter once they note the presence of the falcons.

There are several other ways that bird and wildlife populations are humanely controlled around the airfield including fencing certain areas off, mowing the grass near the flight line to a prescribed height and draining puddles. Cannon blasts and noise makers can also be used to disperse unwanted flocks.

“I’ll be trapping or using depredation to manage problem mammals,” said Elizabeth Hensel, Falcon Environmental Services, Inc. wildlife manager.

For example, if there is a red-tail hawk, Hensel can trap the bird and move it to another location 50 miles away leading to one less bird threatening the fleet.

Having falcons will help disperse the birds and hopefully there will be less of a bird strike concern for the KC-135 Stratotankers, said Hensel.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 18, 2014

News: U.S. mission in Iraq could expand, Pentagon official says - The mission for U.S. troops in Iraq to help Kurdish and Iraqi security forces in their fight against Islamic militants remains limited for now, but may expand after Iraqi leaders form a new government, a Pentagon spokesman said Aug. 19.   Business: Fuel deals top...
 
 

News Briefs August 20, 2014

Trials complete on fourth Coast Guard cutter Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., has completed acceptance sea trials for the company’s fourth U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter, Hamilton. Jim French, Ingalls’ NSC program manager, tells The Mississippi Press) the Hamilton is scheduled to be delivered next month and commissioned on Dec. 6 in Charleston, South...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval

Air Force, Army Aviation come together to complete vital mission in Egypt

Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval Soldiers and airmen load a UH-60 Black Hawk into an Air Force C17 Globemaster III Aug. 19, 2104, at an old Israeli airstrip in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. The airstrip is now used by the M...
 

 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden

Joint effort validates ability to move Stryker vehicles via air

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden An Army Stryker combat vehicle is guided into a C-17 Globemaster III during a 25th Infantry Division training exercise Aug. 13, 2014, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The Str...
 
 
NASA image

Ozone-depleting compound persists, NASA research shows

NASA image Satellites observed the largest ozone hole over Antarctica in 2006. Purple and blue represent areas of low ozone concentrations in the atmosphere; yellow and red are areas of higher concentrations. NASA research show...
 
 

F-16V completes major capability milestone

The newest configuration of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-16V, has reached a major capability milestone with the integration of a new Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. Completing this milestone on schedule demonstrates our ability to meet program commitments, said Roderick McLean, vice president and general manager of the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>